Briefly put, the argument which I wish to promote is this: (a) that eventually every category of human endeavor, the writing of plays and novels included, must come under the leavening touch of Christianity; (b) that the Christian public can accelerate this leavening if they will participate enthusiastically and with intelligent discrimination in the experiences which the best of modern literature provides; and (c) that some of the confusions which cause the public to turn its back on modern writing can be removed by an understanding of where and how the leaven works.
These confusions, it seems to me, have three sources. First is the suspicion that there exists some fundamental antagonism between Christianity and the creative process. Another is the notion that the vision of life which underlies much recent writing is spiritually barren and therefore unrewarding. Third, there is the vexed question of the relation between literature and morality.
Christianity And Creativity
One thoughtful commentator has this to say about the relationship between Christianity and human creativity:
“For the poets the scandal of Christ is his asceticism. The very element of their experience as men, is the gamut of human living, emotions, drama. ‘Man’s resinous heart’ and the loves, loyalties, the pride, the grief it feeds—these are the stuff of poetry and the sense of life. And the Cross lays its shadow on this; it draws away all the blood from the glowing body of existence and leaves it mutilated and charred in the hope of some thin ethereal felicity. The wine of life is changed to water.… The ‘dramatic caves’ of the human heart and imagination are renounced for some wan empyrean of spiritual revery.… The refusal of religion by the modern poet ...1
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